The International Debutante Ball, Young Royals to Go It Alone

Hello-Hello, happy back-to-the-routine Monday!

Did everyone enjoy the break from the humdrum, the everyday, the routine?  We reveled in doing the Prepatorium up properly this year, although we suffered a casualty to one of our collection of heart ornaments when de-Christmasing the house.

The Prepatorium

But it is only glass, and a small price to pay for enjoying the splendor of the season.

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Back to more timely news, we start with an update on one of the more notable social celebrations of the year.

Béatrice de Géa for NYT

The 56th Annual International Debutante Ball was last Wednesday at the Waldorf.

Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

Like any coming out gala or cotillion, the Ball is replete with pomp and pageantry; more from WWD’s story:

“Military cadets in full-dress uniform bore flags from the debutantes’ country or state, marching through the ballroom to the echoing strains of the Lester Lanin Orchestra, who played the Beach Boys’ “California Girls” for a debutante from the Golden State, and “Yankee Doodle” for one from Connecticut.”

Kristen Somody Whalen/WWD

Below, two of the debs, on the left we see Meredith Bess Mosbacher (the family is known for its diplomatic service) in Monique Lhuillier; on the right, Olivia Laine Tyson (the family is in poultry).

The Observer’s story, “The Luckiest Girls in the World: White Tie Endures at the International Debutante Ball” is fun, with insight on why a certain group of escorts from a previous year were not have been invited back. Below, gentlemen from this year’s cadre of escorts.

Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

Below, Katherine Anne Bontecou DuVal dances with her father.

Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

Of course, The Dress is all-important. (Actually, a number of dresses are involved, with many girls opting for different gowns for different events, including one’s formal photograph.) The Post ran a feature on one deb’s quest for the ultimate dress: “Fitting for a Princess” focuses on Miss Quinn Jackson, a young lady determined to have the perfect frock for her official launch into society.

Caitlin Thorne Hersey

Above, Miss Jackson having her Vera Wang gown fitted. From the Post’s story:

“Quinn said she had the most fun hanging out at the ball with her friends from Chapin and Fieldston who she hadn’t seen since they all left for college . Her mother, though, had different plans.

“At one time, the ball was meant to introduce society girls and marry them off, and although that’s (not) the goal anymore, it’s certainly my goal!” she says laughing.

“Every second of the day!” says Quinn, shaking her head in amusement.”

Below, more prepping for pictures.

Kristen Somody Whalen for WWD

The Post also carried an article entitled “Glove Affair” that references the criticality of one’s dress selection:

“In 1922, Emily Post advised young girls being introduced to “polite society” at a debutante ball to say to their friends: “What a pretty frock you have on.” But never, under any circumstances, to ask “Where did you get it?”

That would be, of course, in “very bad taste.”

Of course. Two more of the debs below, on the left we see Claire Susan Crenshaw (her father golfs) and Dagney Rochelle Blomster.

One young lady receiving a significant amount of press prior to last week’s festivities, Hadley Marie Nagel. The young lady was profiled in the Times story, “Titans in Party Dresses“.

“…for much of her young life, Miss Nagel’s talents, unusual for a socialite, have been on rather dizzying display… An expert shooter in trap, skeet and clay, she was a blue-ribbon winner of a small-bore rifle competition.”

“By the time of her 2009 graduation from Nightingale-Bamford, the private all-girls school on the Upper East Side, Miss Nagel had founded Model United Nations and history clubs, a travel Web site for teenagers, playintraffic.com, and another site, americansformadison.org, intended to raise awareness of her hero, the founding father James Madison, and win him a federal monument.

Below we see Grace Elisabeth Quick (L) and Miss Nagel (R) in a formal portrait.

Caitlin Thorne Hersey/NY Post

Of course, it wouldn’t be a major social event if our friends on the far side of the pond didn’t offer their perspective. The Mail’s story touches on the notion Miss Nagel is the model for Blake Lively’s Gossip Girl character. It turns out the gown Miss Nagel selected for the big do is the same one worn by her mother for her coming out.

One young lady was forced to add a last-minute accessory, a sling crafted from raw silk.

Jason Kempin/Getty

Olivia Flores broke her collarbone snowboarding, her sling is surely one of the more elegant examples of the device we’ve seen, she looks utterly charming.

In Dipping With The Debs, the Times notes techniques used for the evening’s pivotal moment:

“The New Yorkers curtsied demurely; the uncharitable might even say their bows were boring. But so were those by debutantes from England, Alabama and Arkansas, though the Arkansan’s bouquet of pink and red roses touched with silver leaves fluttered, hinting at a tremor of fear that the genuflection induced.

And then the Texans swished into the room, across the dance floor and onto the stage.”

The post moves on to share the one young lady’s flawless execution of the Texas Dip.

“Claire Crenshaw, 18, lowered herself with such subtlety, it was as if hydraulics were hidden underneath her voluminous skirt. Once on the floor, she doubled over and buried her face in her gown like a person inhaling fresh laundry. In short, she milked it.”

The Journal’s story is accompanied by some lovely photos, including this one of Elizabeth Fischer, captured doing The Dip. (Yes, we do consider it a proper noun.)

Bryan Derballa for The WSJ

Our hats are off to all being launched this year, at this event and so many others.

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Over the holidays there was also an interesting announcement regarding Prince William and his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton. From a story in The Telegraph

“We’ll manage without butlers or servants, say Prince William and Kate Middleton”.

His father famously employs almost 150 staff to cater for his every need, but Prince William has insisted he and Kate Middleton have no intention of taking on butlers or household staff when they begin married life in April.”

The story quotes a “senior royal source”:

““They want to do their duty and make sure they are a real asset to the country but they are private individuals who want to get on with their lives.”

Reuters

““Prince William is not into extravagance and, like any other young officer in the armed forces, that is how he chooses to live his life. He and Catherine live without domestic staff and they wouldn’t do it any other way. That’s the life they want to lead.”

Click here for the entire story.

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We close with news we know you will love: a Birkin bag for only $35!

Thursday Friday

Well, perhaps not the bag you had in mind, but one that is far more attainable (only $35) and loads of fun at the same time. We’re talking about the new “Together Bag” from Thursday Friday, a cotton canvas tote featuring an image of the iconic bag, available in three different colors.  Well, ‘available’ is used as a relative term here, for just like a real Birkin, these are backordered for some time, their popularity outpacing inventory levels.

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A final note: we want to say “Thank You” to all who graced us with their presence in 2010, be it here on the blog, as a Preppy Princess customer, a Facebook fan, on Twitter, or in any other fashion. We are two of the luckiest people on the Planet, blessed to be doing something we love while also meeting some of the brightest, kindest, wittiest and most generous people one could hope to encounter. We are more grateful than we can say for your insight, your comments, your correspondence, and especially your kind and gentle criticism, for while that can be the most difficult of messages to convey, it is truly one of the greatest aides in helping us learn and grow.  You repeatedly offer us the most generous of gifts, the gift of your time. And there really aren’t  words to express how much that, and you, mean to us.

With that, goodbye until next time!

Deb story links:

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal
  • Jason Kempin/Getty Images North America
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11 Comments

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11 responses to “The International Debutante Ball, Young Royals to Go It Alone

  1. i seriously love all the kate middleton posts. keep ’em coming! hope you had a glorious holiday!

  2. I always love reading the deb coverage! The gowns are beautiful! Prince Charles has a staff of 150?!! Good lord. Who knew. LOL.

  3. Love the gowns!
    xoxo
    SC

  4. One of the things I regret from my youth is that when my mom asked me if I would to go dancing school I said no. I wish she had told me about the cool dresses and parties that followed;).

  5. Great post! Love the dresses and the Price William and Miss. Middleton updates.

  6. Those girls have my life! OHMYGOSH… what a great coming out experience. LUCKY!

  7. Jen

    The whole debutante thing is totally from another era. I didn’t realize it was still done. I love the pictures. It’s like a fairy tale.

  8. kiki

    thank you for the deb ball recap. the dresses are amazing. such fortunate young women. my mother had planned for me to attend a deb ball, but being the rebel i was at the time, i said “no, thank you.” i look back now and wish i had participated. have a wonderful day and take care.

  9. Pingback: Have YOU Dated a Duke with a Castle??? | twenty something in seattle

  10. The gowns are lovely but a part of me thinks that when it’s time for the wedding dress it won’t be as special because they’ve already worn Vera Wang to well, a dance. Call me old-fashioned but some things should only be worn once – if your lucky enough. 😉

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